they released their latest report to coincide with the imf and world bank meetings and the economists say they're concerned japanese banks are so heavily vested in government bonds. the report says japanese government bonds account for 24% of assets of banks in japan. the institutions could suffer heavy losses if bond prices plummet. banks around the world see japanese and u.s. government bonds as safer assets in the face of the prolonged credit crisis in europe. they snapped up japanese bonds, causing the yen to spike to record levels. imf economists note japan and the united states are facing huge deficits and the countries need to implement fiscal reforms to maintain investor confidence. it also acknowledges a decision by eurozone countries to launch a permanent fund designed to bail out struggling members. they say worries about the health of the region's financial
system have increased since the spring with the need to use capital to help troubled banks in spain. greece is one of the struggling eurozone members counting on bailout funds to keep it functioning. international lenders are demanding the country's politicians implement deep spending cuts in return for that aid. angela merkel traveled to athens to urge greek leaders to push ahead with austerity measures. merkel met with greek prime minister samas and this is her first visit since the debt crisis began three years ago. she hopes the country will stay with the eurozone. she has been demanding tough deficit cutting measures. greece's politicians are wrangling over the details of an austerity package that's a precondition for more than 30 billion euros in loans. the money is part of a bailout approved by eurozone countries, the european central bank and
the international monetary fund. tens of thousands of greeks rallied in central athens to protest against merkel's visit. about 7,000 police officers fanned out in the streets to control the demonstrators. u.s. treasury secretary timothy geithner is visiting india before he jets to tokyo to attend the imf world bank meetings. he is welcoming efforts by indian leaders to reform their economy. geithner meant with the indian finance minister in new delhi. >> i think the reforms outlined by the government of india offer very promising paths to improving growth outcomes for the indian economy. >> observers say geithner is urging the indian government to proceed with the economic reform policies. the prime minister has been trying to implement changes. one example is his push to open the retail sector to foreign
supermarkets. plans to ease restrictions on foreign investment have sparked an angry reaction. one party has left the ruling coalition in protest. now let's check on the markets. u.s. stock markets ended lower on tuesday as lingering uncertainties about the global economy led investors to sell shares. to see how stocks are trading this wednesday morning, let's go to ra mean at the tokyo stock exchange. the earnings season kicked off in the u.s. giving investors the jitters it seems. >> jitters indeed. we did see the dow trading lower but the nasdaq was the biggest loser after a brokerage down grade for intel which weighed on that tech heavy index, so we'll have to keep track of some of the tech related stocks as well. let's have a look at the opening levels for this wednesday here in tokyo. quite a big negative start here actually, i must say, down 1.3% for the nikkei at 8,655 and down
1.2% for the topix, andt 71 and so quite a negative start. we'll see how that goes throughout the day. with the imf and world bank in town a lot of focus was on the down grades they gave for china's growth outlook as well as japan's and with the focus on slowing growth of course a lot of attention is in japan for china related shares, especially as tension between the two countries over the disputed islands remained unresolved. that's an on going play that is going into the markets as well keeping quite aegative tack on things. the fallout we have seen has been in the auto sector as well and related industries with the likes of nissan seeing sales drop considerably and also production levels have been downgraded or lowered by the likes of toyota and other manufacturers as well, mitsubishi motors as well as we mentioned yesterday and parts
makers are also suffering, of course, relating to the auto industry. now, all of these factors are also going to show up in the earnings results which japanese companies are going to be coming out with latern october. let's not forget the ripple effect could show up in the next quarter so this could be a really on going story here and we'll keep track of how you that affects the related sectors. elsewhere, sharp continues to make headlines. yesterday having been downgraded by a u.s. brokerage firm, down 15% yesterday and also took down the likes of pioneer which is a major stakeholder in sharp which was down 5% yesterday. we'll keep track of those shares today as well. katherine. >> so how is all of this affecting currencies and what else should we b loong out for today? >> quite a lot of focus. let's have a look at the currency levels. the dollar gained just a touch, safe haven levels, 72.21 to 22 and the euro fell against the
dollar and is lower considerably against the yen and mainly on worries about whether greek austerity measures are working and as you mentioned german angela merkel has urged austerity for greece and made a quick trip to athens on tuesday so that's going to be a major focus as well. let's not forget u.s. earnings, katherine, as well. we had al co-a the aluminum giant yesterday, a little disappointing and upcoming is google and then j.p. morgan chase as well as general electric. so quite a lot on the plate for investors. katherine, back to you. >> thank you very much. world bank representatives and japanese officials are also holding meetings in the country's northeast. last year's earthquake and tsunami hit the region hard. people attending the gathering are aring ideasn disaster recovery and prevention.
>> reporter: the meeting has been dubbed the central dialog, named after one of the main cities in the northeast. more than 300 officials have come here from around the world and across japan. they include government officials, experts, and representatives of international organizations. they spent tuesday talking aut e 21 disaster and subsequent recovery efforts. >> translator: we have learned a lot from our disaster recovery efforts. i believe it is critical for us to share these lessons with people around the world. i am making that another personal mission. >> we will not be able to prevent the natural hazards that threaten people around the world, but working together we can wer the daers, prepare
better, respond more quickly, lessen the cost and first and foremost make the lives of people all over the world safer. >> reporter: the panel discussions on tuesday focused on disaster preparedness in developing countries. world bank researchers compiled the reports on the lessons learned from japan's recent earthquake. they know they have woven disaster risk management into the call sure. schools,ffices andommunities hold regular drills to prepare for earthquakes and other events. the palace recommended people in developing countries adapt similar safe guards. >> we have learned very important lessons here that need to be translated, especially also to developing countries where it is really crucial to incorporate better disaster risk management in the development policies.
>> not only the government but more importantly the community, so there wilbe bter able to prepare so as to mitigate the future risks of any future natural disaster. >> reporter: the sendai dialog is a chance for experts to share ideas how to mitigate the risk posed by natural disasters. earthquakes and other events can strike at any time. pinpointing when is not yet possible. people hearsay leare say learni the past and preparing for the future is the best way to save lives. nato secretary general says it is ready to defend turkey if syria does not stop its cross border attacks.
the remark by anders is seen as a warning to bashar al-assad to immediately halt the mortar attacks. >> obviously turkey has a right to defend herself. we have all necessary plans in place to protect and defend turkey. >> rasmussen said that a political solution is the best way to stop the conflict in syria. he called on turkey to show restraint. nato views an attack against a member country as an attack on the alliance as a whole. its members can jointly defend the country. until now nato leaders have repeatedly denied the possibility of military intervention in syria. they have said it could destabilize the rejn. region. the international energy agency predicts iraq's oil production will more than double by 2020 from the current level. the iea made a forecast in a report released on tuesday. the report says that iraq will
likely produce 6.1 million barrels of oil a day by 2020. iraq has signed many contracts with international oil companies. the country has been making progress and reconstruction since the u.s. led war. the iea also projects by 2035 iraq's daily output will grow to 8.3 million barrels. that means iraq will overtake russia as the world's second largest oil exporter. the report stresses sufficient oil storage and transportation will be needed. the iea says iraq will achieve economic growth if it efficiently manages its oil developments and revenues. researchers of the world health organization say that more than 350 million people suffer from depression. the figure is about 5% of the global population. the who released the estimate ahead of world mental health day on wednesday. the organization says more than half of depression sufferers are not receiving treatment because many fail to acknowledge their
illness. the researchers say women appear to be more susceptible to depression than men. up to 1 in 5 mothers experience post part em depression. they say about 1 million people commit suicide each year. a large portion of them had experienced depression. the researchers warn that the economic crisis could increase the risk of depression and suicide. they say that a proper understanding of depression is critical andhey recmend that sufferers should have access to efficient treatment. japan's prime minister has achieved something he won't be celebrating. a poll suggests the support rate for noda and his cabinet has fallen to the lowest level since taking office in september of last year. nhk surveyed 1,056 people between saturday and monday and participants were age 20 and older. they gave the cabinet a support rate of 26%. that's down 5 percentage points from last month's survey. the number of voters who don't
pport the cabinet is up by 5 points to 58%. support rate for the prime minister's democratic party hit the lowest level since he took office. it fell by 3 percentage points to 14%. on the other hand, the support rate for the liberal democratic party rose to 26%, almost double that of the dpj. that's an increase of 6 points. nhk also questioned respondents about which party's leader would make the best prime minister. 18% said noda is appropriate. 30% support shinzo abe. 49% say neither man is right for the job. we're seeing changing fortunes for the governing dpj and the former ruling ldp. earlier we spoke about what it all means. >> first off, what's the spiking support for the opposition leader of democrats? >> last month's ldp leadership
election had a big impact of the party led japan almost coinuoly for more than half a century until the democrats took power in 2009. the liberal democrats have been unpopular for the past few years. their leadership race touched on the territorial disputes japan is having with its neighbors. for example, china and south korea. as you know, the subject has been getting a lot of attention these past few months. the winner of the ldp election shinzo abe took a tough stance on the issue. he says the japanese need to protect their land and sea wh their n hands suggesting the company should strengthen its military power. >> some people are surprised to see abe win given that he was prime minister five years ago and resigned. how do they feel he stands up against noda? >> many voters feel they can no longer expect strong leadership from the dpj to deal with the more difficult issues of governing such as those
territorial disputes. our survey suggests abe's captured their attention. he is almost twice as popular as noda, and that's helped the new interest in the ldp. >> what about the third political party that recently came to the scene? how did the japan party do in this survey? >> not well. i was here last month talking about a poll that suggested more than half of the voters have either some or high expectations of japan restoration party. it is still quite far behind the ldp. only 2% of those surveyed in this new poll endorsed it. however, we'll probably see that number rise as voters start to learn about the party and its policies. more than anything, this poll is a bit of a wake-up call for prime minister noda and the ruling dpj and general election is on the horizon. a political parties are working to lock in support. noda and his colleagues now have even more work to do to convince
voters they deserve a second chance at governing. a japanese cabinet member and cambodia's prime minister met to discuss japan's position on the senkaku islands. they will host summit meetings next month. the cabin sretary would told the prime minister that the islands are inherent japanese territory. cytosaid international law and history have confirmed this. japan controls the islands while china and taiwan claim them. he said japan hopes to resolve the dispute in a rational and peaceful way. he said the meeting helped him understand the historical context and he supports a peaceful settlement of the issue. he told reporters japan has no plan to raise the issue at summit meetings of asean members and other asia pific nations and ja fan and china are expected to take part in the
summit in cambodia. academics and students discussed ways to ease tensions between the feuding neighbors. we hone in on what the young people are saying about it. >> reporter: the symposium was originally supposed to be one of the events marking 40 years of diplomatic relations between chinand japan. the senkaku dispute cast a long shadow. >> the days of japan-china friendship may be over. >> i think the situation offers an opportunity for students and citizens who have been indifferent to develop an interest in japan-china relations. >> reporter: many who helped to organize the forum are young chinese who have come to japan to study.
24-year-old wjun xiu came to japan two years ago. she is a graduate student. she struggled with the changes in recent months. she was especially upset after seeing some of the anti-japanese protests in china turn violent. she is worried the protests will not only worsen ties between japan but also damage china's image in the world. she posted a message online. >> destruction and looting in the name of patriotism will only be seen as uncivilized to the rest of the world. >> i was angry as a fellow chinese and i wanted them to stop. i will post what i think is right on the internet and i hope
many people will see it. >> wang was also shocked by the view many japanese people have of chinese. she blames this on a lack of interest the japanese have in the neighbors. >> translator: it is not that japanese people don't understand china, they have no desire to learn about china. their image of the country is limited to chinese food, language, and so-called china money. >> reporter: wang joined in preparation for the symposium two months ago. she wanted more people both in japan and china to take an interest in each other's country. when i day came, some 400 people turned up to join the
discussion. some chinese callers criticized japan's handling of the senkaku issue. >> it is important to show readiness and dialog. if japan says no territorial issue exists, that shuts the door to dialog. >> translator: china should not expand its retaliatory measures into the fields of culture and the economy. >> what can be done to build more trust between the two countries? the younger generation voiced various ideas in a debate session that followed. >> my parents are grateful to the japanese for being kind to me. we should make bonds one by one starting with the people around us. >> translator: we are now able to influence a great number of people with the use of twitter and facebook.
each one of us can send out messages and that ability is the hope of a generation. >> reporter: better communication was a common theme and in one sense that's an encouraging sign. >> translator: devoting myself to an event like this is my way of showing patriotism. i believe the two countries will come to enjoy friendly relations some day. >> reporter: learning to be better neighbors will take time. during this difficult phase young people from japan and china can serve as an important link between their countries. let's now check weather conditions around thworl people in tokyo are wearing longer sleeves as mornings are chillier in recent days.
here is what we can expect in the weather? >> yes, it was really cool this morning and should be warming up to 24 degrees during the daytime hours. looking at blue skies this moment and showers possible from late afternoon, so get your umbrella handy. more heavy rain is on the horizon in the northern half of japan from thursday as the systems are approaching from the continent. right now the systems are dumping snow showers in parts of northeastern china and thunder showers in the korean peninsula. again, those systems will head towards the east and affect the northern half of japan on thursday. out west dry across much of eastern china but southwestern china is a different story. thundershowers, rain showers will continue throughout the day and it is not going to be severe. down towards the south, remnants of the tropical storm are still hovering over the sea and today the heaviest rain is in the northern half of myanmar and out east we can see this showing up, typhoon is still hovering over
the western pacic atarting to produce at rough seas across the coast and east of taiwan and the southern islands of japan like the okinawa islands from late tonight. waves could reach 4 meters. it is going to continue to move a slow pace over the next several days. we're not sure where it is going but there is a small possibility it could move through the okinawa islands next week. we'll keep you posted. temperatures are looking like this. we're expecting 19 degrees in seoul on wednesday and that is about 3 degrees lower than yestday. tokyo slightly warming up to 24 degrees and out west 19 in chong ching and dropping out of the 30s in hong kong. moving into the americas, lots of snow in canada. this low pressure system is spreading rain and snow in ontario and northern quebec and rain showers in the great lakes where the system will travel towards the east and start to affect new england and the east
end of canada on wednesday. back behind it there is another storm moving through alberta bringing snow and rain and the system will head towards the east and will start to affect minnesota, north dakota and manitoba. manitoba may be seeing as much as 15 centimeters of snow. down towards the south a snow lull is tracking through southern california bringing some rain showers and some sierra nevada may be seeing intensifying snow showers from late wednesday and out east dry and calm across the eastern half, eastern third of the u.s. conditions are ideal for over night cooling. that could create freezing conditions that could create frost conditions and could kill sensitive plants if left outdoors. temperatures are looking like this. cooling down to 11 degrees in chicago despite the sunshine. 12 degrees in toronto, and out west only 6 degrees expected in winnipeg with a low of minus 3.
finally, let's go over to europe then, a strong low that produced heavy rain and strong winds in the southern scandinavian peninsula is moving through southern finland and the baltic. heavy rain in southern france, central france and the alpine region. 100 millimeters of rain has been recorded in parts of southern germany. out west slow moving -- i should say rapid moving fast moving low pressure system affecting iceland with heavy rain and gusty winds and the conditions will spread to the islands as well as the northern half of the iberian peninsula by wednesday night. temperatures are looking nice across many locations and still on the hot side in lisbon with a high of 27. here is the extended forecast.